The Cheapest American Vehicle May Surprise You

The Big Three American manufacturers are moving away from affordable vehicles. Chevy recently killed the little Spark, which was the least-expensive new car of any class available. Ford’s inexpensive EsoSport is going away at the end of the year, too. The cheapest Dodge or Chrysler you can buy for now is the Challenger, which starts at $30,825. That leaves the Ford Maverick truck, which starts at $19,995 as the cheapest American made vehicle you can buy new. It’s also the least-expensive hybrid from any manufacturer you can buy.

What is special about the Ford Maverick?

A grey 2022 Ford Maverick has supplies loaded into its bed. It's the cheapest American made vehicle you can buy.
2022 Ford Maverick | Ford

The Maverick is a special truck. It’s based on the Bronco Sport SUV, but instead of a cargo hold in the back, it has a wide-open bed. It’s also a hybrid and gets up to 42 mpg in the city. The Maverick also can do a lot of the truck stuff that truck owners want, such as carry up to 1,500 pounds in the bed, tow up to 4,000 pounds, and even go off-road with the FX4 off-road package. While you’re not going to tow a giant boat with a Maverick, the truck isn’t made for that. That’s why Ford sells an F-150. Instead, the Maverick is designed for a different lifestyle, and that’s clear with the accessories that you can buy for it, which include a mini-fridge, extra lights, cargo boxes and extenders for the bed, and trim kits. You can get tow kits and racks, too.

Mavericks will hold their value

The base XL Maverick is the cheapest American made vehicle you can buy.
Ford Maverick | Getty Images

The Maverick is popular and because of that it seems that the truck will hold its value, too. For folks looking for an inexpensive truck to get some work done, it’s hard to beat. And, it looks like people are starting to recognize that. It’s now outselling the slightly-larger (on the outside) Ford Ranger truck.

What options can you order on a Maverick?

You can order heated seats, Apple CarPlay, and much more in a Maverick.

While the basic truck at $19,995 is a great deal, most buyers will want some options. You can use Ford’s clever online ordering system to build the Maverick you want, and they can become near-luxury trucks with the right options packages. The big options include the upgrade to the 2-liter EcoBoost engine, which is $1,085, and all-wheel drive, which is a $3,305 option but requires the engine upgrade.

The mid-trim XLT package is $2,500 and includes power outlets, power front seats, a bed linder, heated seats, and even a heated steering wheel and LED box lights. The Lariat Luxury Package includes all the stuff from the XLT, plus a B&O sound system, adaptive cruise control, parking sensors, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a trailer hitch and more for an extra $3,750. A 4,000-pound tow package is $745, and the FX4 off-road package adds $800.

What are the other cheap American made vehicles?

Front angle view of turquoise 2022 Chevy Spark, the only American car that costs less than $15,000.
2022 Chevy Spark | Chevrolet

The cheap-to-buy and cheap-to-run Ford EcoSport is disappearing at the end of 2002.  The least expensive Chevrolet is the Trax, and it starts at $23,200. Chevy has killed the little Spark for 2023, which was the least-expensive new car from any brand that you could buy. The Mitsubishi Mirage ES is currently the least expensive new vehicle you can buy, but if you like to drive American, the Ford Maverick is your best bet. The Trax is the least expensive American SUV available.